Home-schooling Through High School
Parents often confess their terror of home-schooling their high school children. How will we ever get through Matric? What about little things like the Matric dance? What about sport? One thing to remember is that home-schooling doesn’t miraculously change the moment our children leave Grade 7 and enter Grade 8! Home-schooling is a blessing all the way through primary school. It remains so through high school. In fact, the high school years are the very years you should be home-schooling! Here are some reasons why!
Firstly, there is peer pressure to consider. There are not many teens that are mature enough at the age of 13 to withstand constant pressure! Our children’s identity can so easily become wrapped up in their peer group. They want to be one part of the “in” crowd. And the wave of peer pressure, our children who are coming out of a Christian home-school, encounter when entering a high school (even a Christian high school!) can be absolutely overwhelming!
Next, there is the blessing of family relationships. You have worked so hard over the years to build strong relationships that will last a lifetime. Home-schooling is a ministry of discipleship – period! That discipleship does not evaporate in high school! It’s the very time our discipleship of our children should be stepping up a gear! Healthy relationships result in confident children.
If you place your child in the local high school, you will be separated for seven or more hours a day. You may not notice it at first, but little by little changes to the way your son or daughter behaves will appear. The family relationship becomes eroded – just a little at a time. Remember that you are more than a parent; you are your child’s mentor! As our children enter their teens, the friends they choose can have an enormous impact. You can help them to choose wisely.
Thirdly, you have provided an excellent foundation academically to this point. One-on-one interaction has been so effective. A high-school dilutes this approximately thirty-fold! There is so much wasted time at school, between assemblies, rugby meetings, hockey meetings and more that almost 60% of the school day is given to interruptions and not to academics.
If you have a child that is a whiz at science, you are able to tailor the learning and the curriculum to suit their needs. In fact, Cambridge offers far more flexibility in this regard than does the South African Matric! It is not news to many of us that home-schooled children can matriculate early. If you have a child in this category, placing them in the high school will merely stifle their progress.
Your love and support is always present. Will any high school support your child the way you do?
What about important life-skills? This is the time you can train and instruct in such a critical area. If you run a business from home, your children can begin to get involved. What an awesome life-skill you will be passing on.
Also, the moment you place your children in school you lose all the flexibility that comes with a home-schooling life-style! If you are used to this life-style, the rigid, inflexible schedule could come as a nasty shock to everyone. You may think that learning to adapt to a rigid schedule is important, after all, your child’s boss won’t take kindly to them arriving at work at 10am! However, this can be achieved in so many other, more positive ways than the high-school environment!
The Star newspaper has repeatedly featured articles on the death of children through drugs, bullying and violence at schools. The crisis is getting worse, certainly here in South Africa! There is still no place like home, and it is a safer option than any school!
Ultimately, there is the issue of faith. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 God’s Word goes on to say “And without faith it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews 1:6 Has God let you down thus far? Is He likely to let you down when you home-school through High School? Enough said.
CORES 8, 9 AND 10, MATRIC AND UNIVERSITY ENTRANCE
Love2Learn Curriculum offers you as a home-schooler the opportunity to earn an accredited, internationally recognised school-leaving qualification.
Not only is it accepted by ALL universities in South Africa, but it is also recognised internationally as being one of the premier school-leaving qualifications available today.
While Love2Learn Curriculum itself is not a school, and does not desire to be a school, we assist you the home-schooling parent and your son or daughter to obtain this sought after qualification!
The good news is that we go way beyond merely supplying you curriculum resources, we supply you REAL HELP in the form of tutors, assessment services and more! This will be covered in later chapters.
The structure of the last three years of high school using the Cambridge system is explained below.
Cambridge International Examinations
(A two-year course) covering Grade 10 – 11,
(We, at Love2Learn, call this Core 8 and Core 9)
(A one-year course commencing directly after
completing IGCSE) covering Grade 12 - MATRIC
(We, at Love2Learn, call this Core 10)
ALTERNATIVELY AFTER COMPLETING IGCSE, INSTEAD OF COMPLETING AS-LEVELS ONE CAN PROCEED DIRECTLY TO:
(A two-year course commenced after Completing IGCSE) covering Grade 12 and 13 (Matric + Post-Matric year – roughly equivalent to first year university in South Africa.) (We, at Love2Learn, call this Core 10 and Core 10+) Love2Learn is still investigating the option of offering subjects at a full A-Level, viz. Grade 13 (Post-Matric).
IGCSE is a two-year course. It commences in Grade 10 and ends in Grade 11 with the candidate writing the internationally acclaimed Cambridge IGCSE Examination at the end of Grade 11. This is not the end of the high-school road, however. If your child intends registering with a South African College or University, they will require ONE more year of schooling and a higher qualification than IGCSE.
ABOUT AS-LEVELS AND A-LEVELS
Now Cambridge A-LEVELS is also a two-year course, but happily for us, it has an exit-point after one year. Half of an
A-Level (a one-year course) is called an As-Level.
A Full A-Level (two-year course) begins in Matric (Grade 12) and ends in a Post-Matric (Grade 13). Most South Africans take the exit point examination and write their AS-Level. This means that they complete their Grade 12 and proceed directly to university. In other words, they study for only one of the possible two years.
THE NUMBER OF SUBJECTS TO BE TAKEN FOR GRADE 10, 11 AND MATRIC
Students completing their IGCSE’s (Grade 10 and Grade 11) are required to complete six subjects. This means that until the end of Grade 9 all the subjects referred to in Section 3.8 remain compulsory. Subject choice only becomes a factor in Grade 10.
In South Africa it is now compulsory to complete seven subjects for Matric, no longer six subjects.
However, because the standard is so high for Cambridge International Examinations only four subjects are required at As-Level, for university entrance anywhere in South Africa. Students completing As-Levels (Matric) only require four subjects at As-Levels and one subject passed at IGCSE level.
"Everyone is having lots of fun." Nathaniel
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